Freight ships from Asia come fully loaded with goods to Sweden. But most of them leave Swedish ports with very small loads. The reason is that few Swedish companies export goods to Asia. This is remarkable given that the cost of transport to eastern Asia is very low compared to the actual product. The opportunities for Swedish small and medium-sized enterprises are huge.
The ongoing globalization leads to more intertwined world economies, creating huge opportunities for Sweden. The Swedish government's aim is for Sweden to have the lowest unemployment rates in the EU in 2020. The Prime Minister, Stefan Löfven, and Minister for Enterprise and Innovation, Stefan Damberg, wrote a debate article for the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter at the beginning of the year, where they argued that export of goods and services plays a huge role in whether or not this goal will be reached. I agree.
The challenges lie in the fact that Sweden export too little to Asia. There are far too few small and medium-sized enterprises that export. Moreover, Swedish export should, to a greater extent, consist of goods and services from upstream industries.
The government must now develop a new export strategy based on the mentioned challenges. There is a vision to develop a strategy together with entrepreneurs and business representatives. I sincerely wish this will happen and that it will be successful. The prerequisites are there. The already mentioned low cost of transport from Sweden to Asia is one of them.